Ashford Inc. (NYSE: AINC), a provider of asset management and other services to companies within the hospitality industry, has formed Ashford Securities LLC to raise capital in order to grow its existing and future platforms.
Following registration with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and other regulatory authorities, Ashford Securities will be a dedicated capital raising platform to fund investment opportunities sponsored and asset-managed by Ashford. The company said that the types of capital raised may include preferred equity, convertible preferred equity, mezzanine debt, or non-traded REIT common equity (for future platforms).
The company expects to begin raising capital in the first half of next year, noting that competitors in the space have been able to raise hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
“Ashford Securities’ goal is to provide the market with highly differentiated alternative investment products,” said Jay Steigerwald, Ashford Securities’ new president and head of distribution. “We believe having a dedicated fundraising platform will provide Ashford and its advised platforms an additional source of capital that is not dependent on the traditional publicly-traded capital markets.”
For more than 30 years, Steigerwald’s career has specialized in alternative investment products including product structuring, investment strategy, fundraising, budgeting, financial reporting, and forming broker-dealer syndicates.
Prior to joining Ashford, He served as executive director for W. P. Carey Inc. (NYSE: WPC) and president of Carey Financial, W. P. Carey’s managing broker-dealer.
In this position, he oversaw all broker-dealer relationships for the firm, including managing the national accounts and due diligence departments. He was instrumental in the overall fundraising efforts of the firm which resulted in $7 billion in new assets.
Prior to joining W. P. Carey, Steigerwald was a vice president at CNL Securities where he managed the Western region national accounts department. Previously, he was the founder and chief executive officer of Integrity Investment Partners, managing partner of the hedge fund Prosperity Investors, and a national account wholesaler for Related Capital.
Megan Gavin has also joined Ashford Securities to lead its national accounts effort. She previously worked as a national accounts manager at Starwood Capital LLC and Carey Financial.
Robert A. Stanger & Co. Inc., an investment banking firm specializing in providing strategic planning and investment banking services to real estate advisory and management companies, was hired as a consultant.
“For quite some time, we have wanted to have our own capital raising platform and believe that now is an opportune time to launch this effort to ideally significantly increase our assets under management,” said Monty J. Bennett, Ashford’s chairman and CEO.
Ashford provides global asset management, investment management and related services to the real estate and hospitality sectors. Ashford Securities is not raising common equity for Ashford Inc. nor for its existing advised platforms of Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc. (NYSE: AHT) and Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc. (NYSE: BHR).